My sleddogs


Friday, December 18, 2009

sled dog (bladejoring) training.....

well, still training the boys....and girl. there have been good days and bad days. having a third dog really throws off the dynamics of trying to train two dogs. i think i'll have to only train two at a time. i have been putting bailey and skates together while also holding onto little teemu. it's had it's ups and downs. my biggest problems have been trying to get them to stay still when we stop and also how to focus on traveling without stopping for distractions. bailey and skates work well together, but when i put little teemu with bailey or skates he gets too rambuncious and tries to play/bite the other dog and the lines end up getting all tangled. anyways, i think i'm going to have to start at the beginning and train them to first stand still when i'm getting all the lines hooked up. the second thing is to get them going straight ahead instead of coming towards me. skates and bailey know what hike means, but sometimes they decide to come towards me which once again tangles up all the lines. i think they're getting confused with all the different commands being thrown at them at once. it also looks like i may have to get some new rollerblades since my current ones don't have any brakes and i'm wearing out all my wheels on one training run trying to use the old T-stop. it's a good thing i've got a bunch of spares from my pro inline hockey days waiting in backup. for what i'm going to do i need to get some basic blades with a rear stopper type brake though.

as for cycling i've just been on the trainer the last couple of weeks. the new dog and the weather have been keeping me indoors for now.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

new addition to the family.......

i had been thinking about getting another husky for some time now. i wanted to get a puppy, but the thought of going through raising a puppy wasn't too appealing. i had been searching online for some and i decided to do my part and adopt one instead. i found a 10 month old red/white husky in indianapolis. he looked very cute and after talking with stephanie, "grippo's" foster mom, i was reassured he was what i was looking for. he was partially trained, still a pup, and he looked good. i couldn't understand why someone would surrender him unless they just couldn't deal with a husky. on thursday i loaded up the muts and drove to indy, my old stomping ground where i lived for eight years. i met her at the eagle creek dog park, where i'd been a few times, but it was at least six or seven years since i'd been there. i got lost, but finally did make it there. it was pretty damn cold, but there were people there and i saw grips running around with the other dogs. i brought skates and bailey. there wasn't really much of an introduction, but i did notice grips follow skates a few times. skates seemed to be pretty indifferent to him though. he seemed like a good dog so i paid his adoption fees and we were off back to st. louis.

the drive home was pretty uneventful, just a few nips and growls of testosterone between the two huskies. i couldn't see calling him grips, grippo, or even g-man, what stephanie was calling him. it would be too confusing to yell gee to g-man. i'm training them to be sled dogs and gee is a commonly used term to turn right, so no g-man. his new name had to be something with hockey. i narrowed it to tuuk, which is the name of the bladeholder on hockey skates or teemu. teemu(taymoo) is after teemu selanne, the hockey player, the finish flash. i decided on teemu. he did good in the crate and he seemed to be housebroken. his only accident was the next morning when i took him out of the crate and he dribbled right by the front door. the same thing skates used to do when he was learning to hold his bladder. he was also a little agressive when i tried to take his rawhide away so i put him right on his back. he's a little food aggressive, but i've been able to put my hand in his bowl now. i feel a little more comfortable doing that then i did that the first night.

yesterday was our first full day together and i brought them all to the park for little sled dog training. i didn't know how he'd do. skates and bailey did really did a good job pulling the tire around the park. there weren't many people there and it was great. teemu took to the harness without any problems. i wasn't going to hook him up to it, but he started pulling when i had it on his collar so i hooked it up to the back of the harness. i think he's gonna be a natural. he made it around the whole loop. he did exceptional for his first time. he didn't even get scared that i was on rollerblades. no biking for me this weekend, i haven't ridden the trainer or done any spin classes. may get on the trainer later this afternoon though.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

winter, biking, my new hobby, bikejoring

it's been a while since i've last posted anything on here. my last race of the season was way back in september. i did the gateway cup and then the following week a race out at castlewood. my form was pretty decent back then as i got a late start in training last year. this winter i'm not playing hockey. i thought i'd concentrate on more cycling and just try to be in top shape for the spring road races. i was able to get out about once or twice a week in november, but recently, the weather has not been cooperative and i've either been stuck on the trainer or doing spin classes. i did get a new bike for next season though, a trek madone 5.2 with full campy. i've also been taking up a new hobby and the beneficiaries are my two dogs.

i've decided to train my dogs to be sled dogs, even though one already should be a sled dog. we don't have consistent snowfall here so i've just decided to try bikejoring and skatejoring. basically, you put a harness on your dog or dogs and let them pull you around. i already did that in rough form with my husky, but it wasn't exactly true to form and far from the sport of bikejoring. he would always run behind me or to the side of me, rarely in front, and rarely pulling. he did get in a workout though. he was also in a cheap glorified petsmart harness which isn't exactly made for pulling. my lab would just run off leash following us. well, i bought the correct harnesses for them along with the correct tow lines. getting involved in this i've really learned a lot about sled dogs and the training involved. so, right now the biggest problem i've got is trying to get my husky to pull since everything i taught him before was to stop pulling. it's definetly not as easy as one would think. i've also got a whole slew of terms to teach them. my lab, who's rarely ever been in a harness, and who's always ran free, now has to be contained. i'm sure she's going through a major change having all these lines and harness on her, let alone have to pull something. their training has started with them pulling a motorcycle tire. they're a long way from being sled dogs, but they've shown improvement just about every time i've taken them out. skates has even learned what gee means!!!